Episode 43: Making Mistakes Without Fear

In this mini episode, I talk through ways our kids might view making mistakes as something that is bad or scary. I walk parents through the three pillars of why kids are afraid to make mistakes and how to reframe this process for them and for you.

This is a mini-episode where we talk all about helping our kids feel comfortable with making mistakes. Many of us have kids that are absolutely terrified of making even small mistakes in all kinds of situations. Tasks without a clear outcome, the possibility of there being a wrong answer, or simply being incorrect might lead your child to feel terribly, lash out, or become combative. When we take a wider look, we need to examine how we as parents feel about making mistakes. In this short episode, I go over the three pillars of how fear of making mistakes is created in kids and ways to help them get over these fears.

The 3 Pillars for Combatting The Fear of Making Mistakes:

1. How do you as an adult feel when you make a mistake? 

  • Kids sense and feel more than they see and hear. 
  • Think of the way your energy changes when you hear you’ve done something incorrectly. 
  • Kids pick up on this and are tuned into your energy - tone of voice changes, lack of excitement, etc. This is especially true when they are a deeply feeling or highly empathetic child.
  • Talk through it out loud with your child to see the positive end to the mistake and walk them through the process of how you’re feeling in the moment and how to feel better. 
  • Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have all the answers in the moment! 

2. How much space do you leave for your kids to make a mistake? 

  • This is really important for kids who don’t like making mistakes and have an adverse reaction to it. 
  • We as parents try to save our kids from making mistakes because we don’t like to see our kids struggling. 
  • When you see the struggle happening, let it happen even though it’s hard. 
  • Your kids need the experience of making mistakes. By doing this, they will be able to feel what it’s like to make the mistake, learn how to work through it, and ultimately learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. 
  • Consider this: where is the perception of being right all the time getting in the way? Do you feel your child always has to be correct at school, a sport, etc.?

3. You want to be cognizant of how you treat other people when they make mistakes. 

  • The way you behave in public situations like at a store or restaurant when someone makes a mistake is incredibly important. Your kids are perceiving the way you react to people making mistakes. 
  • Many times it happens the most between couples with everyday tasks. Sighing, rolling your eyes, and how we communicate between each other when mistakes happen can signal to your child how they might be treated when they make a mistake. 
  • You are their safety net and where they learn morals and values. Even in the safest environment, what does it look like when mistakes happen and how does the reaction come out? 
  • It’s in the subtle ways we react that kids notice the most.

It won’t happen overnight, but with small changes over time to the way you perceive and make mistakes as the parent, you will see sustainable and lasting change with your kids in the way they view mistakes as well.


If you would like to do my 8-week 1:1 coaching with me to get a custom road map on how best to tune into your child’s needs, book a free call to see if we are a good fit. https://stan.store/theparentingreframe/theparentingreframe_store/page/51536

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